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Kent Past

The History of Kent

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History of Westbere

Westbere comes from the Old English ‘byre’ meaning a ‘byre, cow-shed’; therefore, ‘west byre cowshed’. The prefix ‘west’ distinguishes it from ‘Bere-court’ in Westcliffe.

Westbere parish church is a Grade: I listed building, dedicated to All Saints, and originally a Chapel-of-Ease to Chislet. The Normans rebuilt the wooden Saxon chapel with stone in the 12th century. In the 14th century, the monks of St Augustine’s Abbey rebuilt the church. In 1800, Edward Hasted describes the church as ‘small, consisting of one isle and a chancel, having a wooden pointed turret at the west end, in which are two bells. It is situated on the side of the hill above the village, and is remarkably dry, which has induced many of the parishioners of the neighbouring parishes to be buried in it.’ The Victorians restored the church’s interior in the 19th century…. more